Other Treatments (other + treatment)

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Distribution within Medical Sciences

Terms modified by Other Treatments

  • other treatment groups
  • other treatment modality
  • other treatment option

  • Selected Abstracts

    A Randomized Controlled Trial of Mist in the Acute Treatment of Moderate Croup

    Gina M. Neto MD
    Abstract Objective: To determine whether the use of mist improves clinical symptoms in children presenting to the emergency department (ED) with moderate croup. Methods: Children 3 months to 6 years of age were eligible for the study if they presented to the ED with moderate croup. Moderate croup was defined as a croup score of 2-7. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either mist (humidified oxygen) via mist stick or no mist. The patients had croup scores measured at baseline and every 30 minutes for up to two hours. At these intervals the following parameters were also measured: heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and patient comfort score. The patients were treated until the croup score was less than 2 or until two hours had elapsed. All patients initially received a dose of oral dexamethasone (0.6 mg/kg). Other treatments, such as racemic epinephrine or inhaled budesonide, were given at the discretion of the treating physician. The research assistants were unaware of the assigned treatments. Results: There were 71 patients enrolled in the study; 35 received mist and 36 received no mist. The two treatment groups had similar characteristics at baseline. The median baseline croup score was 4 in both groups. The outcomes were measured as the change from baseline at 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes. The change in the croup score from baseline in the mist group was not statistically different from the croup score change in the group that did not receive mist (p = 0.39). There was also no significant difference in improvement of oxygen saturation, heart rate, or respiratory rate at any of the assessment times. There was no adverse effect from the mist therapy. Conclusions: Mist therapy is not effective in improving clinical symptoms in children presenting to the ED with moderate croup. [source]

    Proton release by N2 -fixing plant roots: A possible contribution to phytoremediation of calcareous sodic soils

    Manzoor Qadir Prof. Dr.
    Abstract With a world-wide occurrence on about 560 million hectares, sodic soils are characterized by the occurrence of excess sodium (Na+) to levels that can adversely affect crop growth and yield. Amelioration of such soils needs a source of calcium (Ca2+) to replace excess Na+ from the cation exchange sites. In addition, adequate levels of Ca2+ in ameliorated soils play a vital role in improving the structural and functional integrity of plant cell walls and membranes. As a low-cost and environmentally feasible strategy, phytoremediation of sodic soils , a plant-based amelioration , has gained increasing interest among scientists and farmers in recent years. Enhanced CO2 partial pressure (PCO2) in the root zone is considered as the principal mechanism contributing to phytoremediation of sodic soils. Aqueous CO2 produces protons (H+) and bicarbonate (HCO3 - ). In a subsequent reaction, H+ reacts with native soil calcite (CaCO3) to provide Ca2+ for Na+ Ca2+ exchange at the cation exchange sites. Another source of H+ may occur in such soils if cropped with N2 -fixing plant species because plants capable of fixing N2 release H+ in the root zone. In a lysimeter experiment on a calcareous sodic soil (pHs = 7.4, electrical conductivity of soil saturated paste extract (ECe) = 3.1 dS m -1, sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) = 28.4, exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) = 27.6, CaCO3 = 50 g kg -1), we investigated the phytoremediation ability of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). There were two cropped treatments: Alfalfa relying on N2 fixation and alfalfa receiving NH4NO3 as mineral N source, respectively. Other treatments were non-cropped, including a control (without an amendment or crop), and soil application of gypsum or sulfuric acid. After two months of cropping, all lysimeters were leached by maintaining a water content at 130% waterholding capacity of the soil after every 24±1 h. The treatment efficiency for Na+ removal in drainage water was in the order: sulfuric acid > gypsum = N2 -fixing alfalfa > NH4NO3-fed alfalfa > control. Both the alfalfa treatments produced statistically similar root and shoot biomass. We attribute better Na+ removal by the N2 -fixing alfalfa treatment to an additional source of H+ in the rhizosphere, which helped to dissolve additional CaCO3 and soil sodicity amelioration. Protonenabgabe durch N2 -fixierende Pflanzenwurzeln: ein möglicher Beitrag zur Phytomelioration von kalkreichen Natriumböden Bei einem weltweiten Vorkommen auf etwa 560 Millionen Hektar sind Natriumböden durch einen Überschuss an Natrium (Na+) gekennzeichnet, der das Wachstum und den Ertrag von Kulturpflanzenbeständen nachteilig beeinflussen kann. Die Melioration solcher Böden erfordert Calcium (Ca2+), um überschüssiges Na+ von Kationen-Austauscherplätzen zu verdrängen. Außerdem spielt Ca2+ eine wichtige Rolle bei der Verbesserung der strukturellen und funktionellen Integrität pflanzlicher Zellwände und Membranen. Als kostengünstige und umweltfreundliche Strategie hat die Phytomelioration von Natriumböden , eine auf Pflanzen beruhende Melioration , in den letzten Jahren zunehmendes Interesse bei Wissenschaftlern und Landwirten gefunden. Ein erhöhter CO2 -Partialdruck (PCO2) in der Rhizosphäre wird als hauptsächlicher Mechanismus angesehen, der zur Phytomelioration von Natriumböden beiträgt. In Wasser gelöst, erzeugt CO2 Protonen (H+) und Bikarbonate (HCO3 - ). Anschließend reagiert H+ mit nativem Calcit (CaCO3), wobei sich Ca2+ löst und Na+ von Austauscherplätzen verdrängt. Eine weitere H+ -Quelle könnte die H+ -Abgabe von Wurzeln N2 -fixierender Pflanzen sein, da diese in der Lage sind, H+ in die Rhizosphäre abzugeben. In einem Lysimeterversuch mit einem kalkreichen Natriumboden (pHs = 7, 4; ECe = 3, 1 dS m -1; SAR = 28, 4; ESP = 27, 6; CaCO3 = 50 g kg -1) wurde die Möglichkeit einer Phytomelioration mit N2 -fixierender Luzerne (Medicago sativa L.) im Vergleich zu einer mit mineralischem N ernährten Luzerne (NH4NO3) untersucht. In weiteren Varianten (Applikation von Gips bzw. Schwefelsäure) wurde die chemische Melioration einer nicht behandelten Kontrolle gegenübergestellt. Beide Ernährungsformen führten zu statistisch ähnlicher Wurzelund Sprossmasse der Luzerne. Nach zweimonatigem Pflanzenwachstum erfolgte alle 24±1 h eine Dränung der Lysimeter durch Zugabe einer Wassermenge von 130% der maximalen Wasserkapazität zum Boden. Hinsichtlich der Effizienz, Na+ über Auswaschung aus dem Boden zu entfernen, zeigte sich folgende Reihenfolge: Schwefelsäure > Gips = N2 -fixierende Luzerne > NH4NO3 -ernährte Luzerne > Kontrolle. Wir führen das bessere Meliorationsergebnis in der Variante der N2 -fixierenden Luzerne auf eine zusätzliche H+ -Quelle in der Rhizosphäre zurück, die zur Lösung von zusätzlichem CaCO3 beitrug. [source]

    Active treatments for amblyopia: a review of the methods and evidence base

    Catherine M Suttle BSc PhD
    Treatment for amblyopia commonly involves passive methods such as occlusion of the non-amblyopic eye. An evidence base for these methods is provided by animal models of visual deprivation and plasticity in early life and randomised controlled studies in humans with amblyopia. Other treatments of amblyopia, intended to be used instead of or in conjunction with passive methods, are known as ,active' because they require some activity on the part of the patient. Active methods are intended to enhance treatment of amblyopia in a number of ways, including increased compliance and attention during the treatment periods (due to activities that are interesting for the patient) and the use of stimuli designed to activate and to encourage connectivity between certain cortical cell types. Active methods of amblyopia treatment are widely available and are discussed to some extent in the literature, but in many cases the evidence base is unclear, and effectiveness has not been thoroughly tested. This review looks at the techniques and evidence base for a range of these methods and discusses the need for an evidence-based approach to the acceptance and use of active amblyopia treatments. [source]

    Insulin pump therapy vs. multiple daily injections in obese Type 2 diabetic patients

    DIABETIC MEDICINE, Issue 8 2005
    J. Wainstein
    Abstract Aims To compare the efficacy of insulin pump treatment with multiple daily injections in the treatment of poorly controlled obese Type 2 diabetic patients already receiving two or more daily injections of insulin plus metformin. Methods Forty obese Type 2 diabetic subjects (using insulin) were randomized to treatment with continuous subcutaneous infusion pump (CSII) (Minimed®) or multiple daily insulin injections (MDI). At the end of the first 18-week treatment period, patients underwent a 12-week washout period during which they were treated with MDI plus metformin. They were then crossed-over to the other treatment for an 18-week follow-up period. Patients performed 4-point daily self blood-glucose monitoring (SBGM) on a regular basis and 7-point monitoring prior to visits 2, 8, 10 and 16. A subset of patients underwent continuous glucose monitoring using the Minimed® continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS) at visits 2, 8, 10 and 16. A standard meal test was performed in which serum glucose was tested at fasting and once each hour for 6 h following a test meal. Glucose levels were plotted against time and the area under the curve (AUC) was calculated. HbA1c, weight, daily insulin dose and hypoglycaemic episodes were recorded. Results In obese Type 2 diabetic patients already treated with insulin, treatment with CSII significantly reduced HbA1c levels compared with treatment with MDI. An additional CSII treatment benefit was demonstrated by reduced meal-test glucose AUC. Initial reduction of daily insulin requirement observed in CSII-treated subjects during the first treatment period was attributable to a period effect and did not persist over time. Conclusions In the intent-to-treat analysis, CSII appeared to be superior to MDI in reducing HbA1c and glucose AUC values without significant change in weight or insulin dose in obese, uncontrolled, insulin-treated Type 2 diabetic subjects. [source]

    Colony productivity and foundress behaviour of a native wasp versus an invasive social wasp

    Tracy R. Armstrong
    Abstract., 1.,Colony productivity, prey utilisation, and foundress behaviour of a North American native wasp (Polistes fuscatus) versus an European invasive wasp (Polistes dominulus) were investigated in a controlled field experiment with optimal versus natural foraging conditions. Colonies with the optimal prey foraging conditions were provided with prey ad libitum within an enclosed area. The other colonies foraged in the adjacent field,woodland but had the same nest conditions as the other treatment. 2.,When given prey ad libitum, both wasp species captured similar amounts of prey and the conversion to total offspring biomass was similar. But P. dominulus colonies produced 2.5 times the number of workers as P. fuscatus colonies, reflecting the smaller size of P. dominulus wasps. 3.,Foundresses of P. dominulus were observed more often building or repairing the nest, thereby contributing to the production of colonies with twice as many cells as colonies of P. fuscatus. Foundresses of P. dominulus showed more acts of aggression toward workers than did P. fuscatus foundresses, which was not a function of adult density on the nest. 4.,At the end of the experiment, P. dominulus colonies with optimal prey foraging conditions still had a high level of egg-laying and peaked in the number of pupae then, whereas egg-laying and the number of pupae per colony of the other treatments began to decline 2,3 weeks earlier. These results indicate that P. dominulus is more opportunistic than P. fuscatus, which may account in part for P. dominulus's success as an introduced species in North America. [source]

    Synergistic sex pheromone components of the grey-spotted tussock moth, Orgyia ericae

    Guo-Fa Chen
    Abstract The grey-spotted tussock moth, Orgyia ericae Germar (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae), is an important pest of deciduous trees and woody scrublands in northern China. In a field trapping experiment conducted during the flight of the first generation of 2009, synthetic (Z)-6-heneicosen-11-one, a common Orgyia spp. sex pheromone component, attracted O. ericae males. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses (full scan or selected ion-monitoring mode) of pheromone gland extracts from females revealed the presence of a major, a minor, and a trace component, i.e., (6Z,9Z)-heneicosa-6,9-diene, (6Z,9Z)-tricosa-6,9-diene, and (Z)-6-heneicosen-11-one, respectively. Field experiments during the flight of the second generation showed that (6Z,9Z)-tricosa-6,9-diene, the minor component, was inactive alone or in any combination with the other two components, whereas (6Z,9Z)-heneicosa-6,9-diene and (Z)-6-heneicosen-11-one were weakly attractive when tested individually. However, traps baited with a binary blend of (6Z,9Z)-heneicosa-6,9-diene and (Z)-6-heneicosen-11-one caught seven-fold more moths than any other treatment (except the ternary blend), indicating a strong synergistic interaction between the two components. The analytical and field trapping data suggested that (6Z,9Z)-heneicosa-6,9-diene and (Z)-6-heneicosen-11-one are likely the key sex pheromone components of female O. ericae. This synergistic blend will be useful as an efficient monitoring tool, and possible control tool, to combat this economically and ecologically important forest defoliator. [source]

    The efficacy of dantrolene sodium in controlling exertional rhabdomyolysis in the Thoroughbred racehorse

    J. G. T. Edwards
    Summary Reasons for performing study: Dantrolene sodium (Dantrium) has been used extensively for the treatment of myopathies in man and anecdotal evidence suggests it is of clinical benefit in the control of exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis (ER) in racehorses, although data to support this are currently lacking. Objectives: To investigate the efficacy of oral dantrolene sodium in controlling ER in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial involving 77 Thoroughbred racehorses in Newmarket, UK. Methods: Horses were treated on 2 occasions 1 week apart, with treatment days coinciding with a return to exercise following 2 days box rest on each occasion. For the first treatment, each horse was randomly selected to receive either 800 mg dantrolene sodium or a colour- matched placebo administered orally 1 h before exercise. This was followed by crossover to the other treatment on the second occasion, with each horse thereby acting as its own control. Degree of ER was assessed using rising serum creatine kinase (CK) levels, by subtracting pre-exercise blood CK levels from those measured in 6 h post exercise blood samples. For each horse, the difference in change between pre- and post exercise CK values between placebo and dantrolene treatments was calculated, with positive values indicating a greater rise with placebo than with dantrolene sodium treatment. Results: The overall mean difference for all horses was +104.8 iu/l and the null hypothesis, that there was no true difference in non-normally distributed post exercise rises in CK values between placebo and dantrolene treatments, was rejected (P = 0.0013) using the nonparametric Wilcoxon signed rank test. Additionally, no horses given dantrolene sodium showed clinical signs of ER, whereas 3 horses given the placebo developed ER following exercise. The incidence of ER in the study was 4% (3/77). Conclusions: The results confirmed that oral administration of dantrolene sodium, 1 h before exercise, had a statistically significant effect on reducing the difference between pre - and post exercise plasma CK levels compared with a placebo in the same animals, and preventing clinical ER in susceptible individuals. Potential relevance: This study suggested that dantrolene sodium is of use in controlling ER in the Thoroughbred racehorse. Further investigation into pre- and post exercise myoplasmic calcium levels and the repeat of the study late in the season when horses receive a much higher energy ration and more strenuous exercise would appear to be warranted. [source]

    Intrahepatic amino acid and glucose metabolism in a D -galactosamine,induced rat liver failure model

    HEPATOLOGY, Issue 2 2001
    Kosuke Arai
    A better understanding of the hepatic metabolic pathways affected by fulminant hepatic failure (FHF) would help develop nutritional support and other nonsurgical medical therapies for FHF. We used an isolated perfused liver system in combination with a mass-balance model of hepatic intermediary metabolism to generate a comprehensive map of metabolic alterations in the liver in FHF. To induce FHF, rats were fasted for 36 hours, during which they received 2 D -galactosamine injections. The livers were then perfused for 60 minutes via the portal vein with amino acid,supplemented Eagle minimal essential medium containing 3% wt/vol bovine serum albumin and oxygenated with 95% O2/5% CO2. Control rats were fasted for 36 hours with no other treatment before perfusion. FHF rat livers exhibited reduced amino acid uptake, a switch from gluconeogenesis to glycolysis, and a decrease in urea synthesis, but no change in ammonia consumption compared with normal fasted rat livers. Mass-balance analysis showed that hepatic glucose synthesis was inhibited as a result of a reduction in amino acid entry into the tricarboxylic acid cycle by anaplerosis. Furthermore, FHF inhibited intrahepatic aspartate synthesis, which resulted in a 50% reduction in urea cycle flux. Urea synthesis by conversion of exogenous arginine to ornithine was unchanged. Ammonia removal was quantitatively maintained by glutamine synthesis from glutamate and a decrease in the conversion of glutamate to ,-ketoglutarate. Mass-balance analysis of hepatic metabolism will be useful in characterizing changes during FHF, and in elucidating the effects of nutritional supplements and other treatments on hepatic function. [source]

    Tufa Deposition in Karst Streams Can Enhance the Food Supply of the Grazing Caddisfly Melampophylax mucoreus (Limnephilidae)

    Christian Kock
    Abstract We studied the effect of carbonate depositions covering stone surfaces on the growth of larvae and the biomass of subsequent adults of the grazing limnephilid caddisfly Melampophylax mucoreus(Hagen, 1861) in a laboratory rearing experiment. M. mucoreus is mainly distributed in karst streams characterized by calcium carbonate precipitations (tufa). We reared larvae of M. mucoreus on stones covered by calcareous tufa crusts as well as on stones from which these crusts were experimentally removed to assess the influence on larval growth and the subsequent adult biomass. The rough surface of the covered stones provided a higher complexity of micro-habitats and supported algal growth compared to the smooth surface of stones without crusts. Larvae of M. mucoreus profited from the enhanced algal biofilm growth on the calcium carbonate precipitation indicated by faster larval growth and higher subsequent adult biomass. Biomass increase of larvae reared on stones covered by tufa crusts exhibited a faster biomass development (0.09 ± 0.015 mg/d) compared to the larvae reared on stones without crusts (0.06 ± 0.002 mg/d). Adult males (5.13 ± 0.25 mg) and females (7.64 ± 0.63 mg) were significantly heavier in the treatment with stones covered by tufa than their conspecifics from the treatment with uncovered stones (males: 4.26 ± 0.25 mg, p = 0.047; females: 4.96 ± 0.47 mg, p = 0.001). Additionally, males from the treatment with crust covered stones emerged significantly earlier (p = 0.003) than the males from the other treatment, whereas no significant difference was found for females. (© 2006 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

    The Role of Benzodiazepines in the Treatment of Insomnia

    Meta-Analysis of Benzodiazepine Use in the Treatment of Insomnia
    PURPOSE: To obtain a precise estimate of the efficacy and common adverse effects of benzodiazepines for the treatment of insomnia compared with those of placebo and other treatments. BACKGROUND: Insomnia, also referred to as disorder of initiating or maintaining sleep, is a common problem and its prevalence among older people is estimated to be 23% to 34%.1 The total direct cost in the United States for insomnia in 1995 was estimated to be $13.9 billion.2 The complaint of insomnia in older people is associated with chronic medical conditions; psychiatric problems, mainly depression, chronic pain, and poor perceived general condition;1,3,4 and use of sleep medications.5 Thus in most cases, insomnia is due to some other underlying problem and is not just a consequence of aging.6 Accordingly, the management of insomnia should focus on addressing the primary problem and not just short-term treatment of the insomnia. Benzodiazepines belong to the drug class of choice for the symptomatic treatment of primary insomnia.7 This abstract will appraise a meta-analysis that compared the effect of benzodiazepines for short-term treatment of primary insomnia with placebo or other treatment. DATA SOURCES: Data sources included articles listed in Medline from 1966 to December 1998 and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Registry. The medical subject heading (MeSH) search terms used were "benzodiazepine" (exploded) or "benzodiazepine tranquillizers" (exploded) or "clonazepam,""drug therapy,""randomized controlled trial" or "random allocation" or "all random,""human," and "English language." In addition, bibliographies of retrieved articles were scanned for additional articles and manufacturers of brand-name benzodiazepines were asked for reports of early trials not published in the literature. STUDY SELECTION CRITERIA: Reports of randomized controlled trials of benzodiazepine therapy for primary insomnia were considered for the meta-analysis if they compared a benzodiazepine with a placebo or an alternative active drug. DATA EXTRACTION: Data were abstracted from 45 randomized controlled trials representing 2,672 patients, 47% of whom were women. Fifteen studies included patients age 65 and older and four studies involved exclusively older patients. Twenty-five studies were based in the community and nine involved inpatients. The duration of the studies ranged from 1 day to 6 weeks, with a mean of 12.2 days and median of 7.5 days. The primary outcome measures analyzed were sleep latency and total sleep duration after a sleep study, subjects' estimates of sleep latency and sleep duration, and subjects' report of adverse effects. Interrater reliability was checked through duplicate, independent abstraction of the first 21 articles. Overall agreement was between 95% and 98% (kappa value of 0.90 and 0.95 accordingly) for classification of the studies and validity of therapy, and 76% (kappa value of 0.51) for study of harmful effects. A scale of 0 to 5 was used to rate the individual reports, taking into account the quality of randomization, blinding, follow-up, and control for baseline differences between groups. Tests for homogeneity were applied across the individual studies and, when studies were found to be heterogeneous, subgroup analysis according to a predefined group was performed. MAIN RESULTS: The drugs used in the meta-analysis included triazolam in 16 studies; flurazepam in 14 studies; temazepam in 13 studies; midazolam in five studies; nitrazepam in four studies; and estazolam, lorazepam, and diazepam in two studies each. Alternative drug therapies included zopiclone in 13 studies and diphenhydramine, glutethimide, and promethazine in one study each. Only one article reported on a nonpharmacological treatment (behavioral therapy). The mean age of patients was reported in 33 of the 45 studies and ranged between 29 and 82. SLEEP LATENCY: In four studies involving 159 subjects, there was sleep-record latency (time to fall asleep) data for analysis. The pooled difference indicated that the latency to sleep for patients receiving a benzodiazepine was 4.2 minutes (95% CI = (,0.7) (,9.2)) shorter than for those receiving placebo. Patient's estimates of sleep latency examined in eight studies showed a difference of 14.3 minutes (95% CI = 10.6,18.0) in favor of benzodiazepines over placebo. TOTAL SLEEP DURATION: Analysis of two studies involving 35 patients in which total sleep duration using sleep-record results was compared indicated that patients in the benzodiazepine groups slept for an average of 61.8 minutes (95% CI = 37.4,86.2) longer than those in the placebo groups. Patient's estimates of sleep duration from eight studies (566 points) showed total sleep duration to be 48.4 minutes (95% CI = 39.6,57.1) longer for patients taking benzodiazepines than for those on placebo. ADVERSE EFFECTS: Analysis of eight studies (889 subjects) showed that those in the benzodiazepine groups were more likely than those in the placebo groups to complain of daytime drowsiness (odds ratio (OR) 2.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.8,3.4). Analysis of four studies (326 subjects) also showed that subjects in the benzodiazepine groups were more likely to complain of dizziness or lightheadedness than the placebo groups. (OR 2.6, 95% CI = 0.7,10.3). Despite the increased reported side effects in the benzodiazepine groups, drop-out rates were similar in the benzodiazepine and placebo groups. For patient reported outcome, there was no strong correlation found for sleep latency data, (r = 0.4, 95% CI = (,0.3) (,0.9)) or for sleep duration (r = 0.2, 95% CI = ,0.8,0.4) between benzodiazepine dose and outcome. COMPARISON WITH OTHER DRUGS AND TREATMENTS: In three trials with 96 subjects, meta-analysis of the results comparing benzodiazepines with zopiclone, did not show significant difference in sleep latency in the benzodiazepine and placebo groups, but the benzodiazepine groups had increased total sleep duration (23.1 min. 95% CI = 5.6,40.6). In four trials with 252 subjects, the side effect profile did not show a statistically significant difference (OR 1.5, CI 0.8,2.9). There was only one study comparing the effect of behavioral therapy with triazolam. The result showed that triazolam was more effective than behavioral therapy in decreasing sleep latency, but its efficacy declined by the second week of treatment. Behavioral therapy remained effective throughout the 9-week follow-up period. There were four small trials that involved older patients exclusively, with three of the studies having less than 2 weeks of follow-up. The results were mixed regarding benefits and adverse effects were poorly reported. CONCLUSION: The result of the meta-analysis shows that the use of benzodiazepines results in a decrease in sleep latency and a significant increase in total sleep time as compared with placebo. There was also a report of significantly increased side effects, but this did not result in increased discontinuation rate. There was no dose-response relationship for beneficial effect seen with the use of benzodiazepines, although the data are scant. Zopiclone was the only alternative pharmacological therapy that could be studied with any precision. There was no significant difference in the outcome when benzodiazepines were compared with zopiclone. There was only one study that compared the effect of benzodiazepines with nonpharmacological therapy; thus available data are insufficient to comment. [source]

    Behind the Walls and Beyond: Restorative Justice, Instrumental Communities, and Effective Residential Treatment

    ABSTRACT Although restorative justice principles and practice have been applied extensively in community-based juvenile justice settings, implementation in residential treatment facilities has been far less common. We describe recent experimentation and possibilities for broader application to disciplinary infractions, the response to harm and crime, promoting community and citizen input, "community building" for conflict resolution skill development and changing the culture of facilities, and reentry. We conceptualize three "communities" as most relevant to addressing needs of incarcerated youths, their victims, and support groups, and then discuss theoretical frameworks and empirical research supportive of restorative practice in this context. Challenges to implementation of restorative practice, compatibility with other treatment and disciplinary agendas, and concerns about preserving the integrity of the model are also considered. [source]

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi can transfer substantial amounts of nitrogen to their host plant from organic material

    NEW PHYTOLOGIST, Issue 1 2009
    Joanne Leigh
    Summary ,,Nitrogen (N) capture by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi from organic material is a recently discovered phenomenon. This study investigated the ability of two Glomus species to transfer N from organic material to host plants and examined whether the ability to capture N is related to fungal hyphal growth. ,,Experimental microcosms had two compartments; these contained either a single plant of Plantago lanceolata inoculated with Glomus hoi or Glomus intraradices, or a patch of dried shoot material labelled with 15N and 13carbon (C). In one treatment, hyphae, but not roots, were allowed access to the patch; in the other treatment, access by both hyphae and roots was prevented. ,,When allowed, fungi proliferated in the patch and captured N but not C, although G. intraradices transferred more N than G. hoi to the plant. Plants colonized with G. intraradices had a higher concentration of N than controls. ,,Up to one-third of the patch N was captured by the AM fungi and transferred to the plant, while c. 20% of plant N may have been patch derived. These findings indicate that uptake from organic N could be important in AM symbiosis for both plant and fungal partners and that some AM fungi may acquire inorganic N from organic sources. [source]

    Bilateral Treatment for Alopecia Areata

    Daniele Torchia M.D.
    Anthralin 0.1% cream was prescribed for the left side of the scalp, while corticosteroids for the right side. After 4 months, only the right side of the scalp showed hair regrowth. Half-side strategy, that is, treating one side and managing the other , divided by the mid sagittal suture , as an internal control for no treatment, placebo or other treatment, has been commonly used in clinical studies for decades. In everyday practice, bilateral treatment is useful to evaluate the responsiveness to two topically delivered interventions and diminishes the time necessary to identify an effective one. [source]

    Latest news and product developments

    PRESCRIBER, Issue 22 2007
    Article first published online: 28 DEC 200
    Glitazones: benefits outweigh the risks Following a review of the safety of rosiglitazone and pioglitazone, the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has concluded that their benefits outweigh their risks in the approved indications. The review was prompted by reports of an increased risk of fractures in women and, in patients taking rosiglitazone, ischaemic heart disease. The EMEA concluded that prescribing information for rosiglitazone should now include a warning that, in patients with ischaemic heart disease, it should only be used after careful evaluation of each patient's individual risk, and the combination of rosiglitazone and insulin should only be used in exceptional cases and under close supervision. No change was considered necessary to the prescribing information for pioglitazone. Modern dressings no better? A systematic review has found only weak evidence that modern dressings are better than saline gauze or paraffin gauze for healing acute and chronic wounds (Arch Dermatol 2007;143: 1297-304). The analysis, which included 99 studies, found that only hydrocolloids were demonstrably better than older dressings for healing chronic wounds, and alginates were superior to other modern dressings for debriding necrotic wounds. There was no evidence that modern dressings offered superior overall performance to the older alternatives. Hospital inflation twice primary care level The cost of drugs prescribed in secondary care but dispensed in the community increased by 6.4 per cent in 2006 - twice the rate of inflation in primary care - according to the latest statistics on hospital prescribing in England. The increase follows a reduction in costs in 2005 after the introduction of the new PPRS scheme. Data from The Information Centre (www.ic.nhs.uk) show that hospital medicines make up about 24 per cent of the NHS drugs budget. Secondary care has a consistently better record than primary care in prescribing lower-cost alternatives within therapeutic categories, eg simvastatin and pravastatin among the statins, omeprazole and lansoprazole among PPIs, and ACE inhibitors among drugs acting on the renin angiotensin system. The most expensive drug prescribed by hospital specialists and dispensed in the community is interferon beta. MHRA limits the use of fibrates The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has advised that fibrates should now be reserved for the treatment of isolated severe hypertriglyceridaemia. They should be considered for hypercholesterolaemia only when a statin or other treatment is contraindicated or not tolerated. In the latest Drug Safety Update, the MHRA says there is insufficient evidence of long-term benefits from fibrates, and first-line use is no longer justified because the evidence for the benefits of statins is robust. The MHRA also warns that some breastfeeding infants have increased susceptibility to the adverse effects of codeine taken by their mother, and that St John's wort may affect the hepatic metabolism of any anticonvulsant. Annual zoledronic acid infusion cuts mortality after hip fracture Once-yearly infusion of zoledronic acid (Aclasta) after hip fracture reduces deaths over a two-year period by 28 per cent compared with placebo, US investigators say (N Engl J Med 2007;357:1799-809). The HORIZON Recurrent Fracture Trial randomised 2127 men and women (mean age 75) within 90 days of surgery for hip fracture to zoledronic acid 5mg yearly or placebo. Mortality over 1.9 years of follow-up was 9.6 per cent with zoledronic acid and 13.3 per cent with placebo. Zoledronic acid also significantly reduced the rate of any new clinical fractures (by 35 per cent) and new clinical vertebral fractures(by 45 per cent),but the lower rate of hip fracture (2.0 vs 3.5 per cent with placebo) was not statistically significant. Rivastigmine patch for mild to moderate AD Rivastigmine (Exelon) is now available as a transdermal patch for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Applied once daily, the patch delivers 9.5mg per 24 hours and, says manufacturer Novartis, is associated with a lower incidence of nausea and vomiting than a comparable oral dose. The patch is available in two strengths: 4.6mg per 24hr is equivalent to oral doses of 3 or 6mg per day, and the 9.5mg per 24hr patch is equivalent to 9 or 12mg per day orally. The recommended dose of the patch is 9.5mg per day; both strengths cost £83.84 for 30 patches. Women more aspirin resistant than men? The cardioprotective effect of low-dose aspirin may be lower in women than men, say Canadian investigators (BMC Medicine 2007;5:29 doi: 10.1186/1741-70155-29). Their meta-analysis of 23 randomised trials involving a total of 113 494 participants found that aspirin significantly reduced the risk of nonfatal but not fatal myocardial infarction (MI). About one-quarter of the variation in its effects on nonfatal MI was accounted for by the sex mix of the trial population. Separating the results by sex showed the reduction in risk with aspirin use was statistically significant in men (relative risk, RR, 0.62) but not in women (RR 0.87). Look after physical health of mentally ill GPs and other primary care workers should take more responsibility for the physical health of their mentally ill patients, say advocacy groups. Mind and Body: Preventing and Improving Physical Health Problems in Patients With Schizophrenia points out that the mental health needs of patients with schizophrenia are met in secondary care, but their physical health needs should be met in primary care. In particular, the metabolic effects of antipsychotics may lead to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and weight gain in particular is a frequent reason for nonadherence to treatment. The Mind and Body Manifesto was developed by SANE, The Mental Health Nurses Association, The National Obesity Forum and The Disability Rights Commission and sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals Limited and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals (UK) Ltd. Copies are available from elizabeth.green@ ogilvyhealthworld.com. Health eCard costs Some costs quoted in our article on the Health eCard (The Health eCard: the way ahead for medical records?,5 October issue, pages 28-9) have been revised: the card and initial download will cost patients £39.50, and GPs will be entitled to charge patients £10 per annum for subsequent downloads. NICE appraisals of cytokine inhibitors in RA NICE has endorsed the use of the anti-TNF agents adalimumab (Humira), etanercept (Enbrel) and infliximab (Remicade), normally in conjunction with methotrexate, for the treatment of active RA when methotrexate and another DMARD have failed (also see New from NICE below). NICE has provisionally concluded, subject to consultation, that abatacept (Orencia) should not be recommended for the treatment of RA. Boots and BMJ launch health advice site www.askbootshealth.com is a new website providing information about health and medicines for the public produced by Boots using information provided by the BMJ Publishing Group. The website covers many of the topics already available from NHSDirect, with perhaps more information about available treatments. Diabetes care shows small improvement The third National Diabetes Audit in England and Wales has found that more people with diabetes were achieving the targets set by NICE for cholesterol levels, glycaemic control and blood pressure in 2005/06 - but younger patients were doing less well. Overall, the HbA1C target of ,7.5 per cent was achieved in 60 per cent of people with diabetes compared with 58 per cent in 2004/05. However, HbA1C was >9.5 per cent in 30 per cent of children and young people, of whom 9 per cent experienced at least one episode of ketoacidosis. More topics for NICE New topics referred to NICE include clinical guidelines on ovarian cancer, coeliac disease and stable angina, public health guidance on preventing cardiovascular disease, and technology appraisals on insulin detemir (Levemir) for type 1 diabetes, several treatments for cancer and hepatic and haematological disorders, and biological therapies for juvenile arthritis. New from NICE NICE appraisal on anti-TNFs for RA Since NICE published its first appraisal of agents acting against tumour necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFs) for the treatment of RA in 2002, the product licences for etanercept (Enbrel) and infliximab (Remicade) have changed and a new agent, adalimumab (Humira), has been introduced. The anti-TNFs act in different ways. Infliximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody that binds to TNF-alpha, neutralising its activity. Etanercept, a recombinant human TNF-alpha receptor fusion protein, and adalimumab, a human-sequence antibody, both bind to TNF-alpha and block its interaction with cell surface receptors. Adalimumab also modulates some biological responses induced or regulated by TNF-alpha. These agents are recommended for adults with severe active RA (defined as a disease activity score - DAS28 - greater than 5.1) who have already tried two disease-modifying drugs, including methotrexate (if not contraindicated). Prior treatment should have been of at least six months' duration, including two months at the standard dose (unless limited by toxicity). Anti-TNFs should normally be prescribed with methotrexate; when this is not appropriate, etanercept and adalimumab may be prescribed as monotherapy. Treatment with an anti-TNF should be continued beyond six months only if there is an adequate response (defined as an improvement in DAS28 of at least 1.2). Data from the British Rheumatology Society Biologics register show that, after six months, 67 per cent of patients met NICE criteria for an adequate response; this declined to 55 per cent at 18 months. The basic annual cost of treatment is £9295 for adalimumab 40mg on alternate weeks or etanercept 25mg twice weekly; infliximab costs £3777 for a loading dose, then £7553-£8812 depending on dose. Assuming no progression of disability, the incremental costs per QALY (compared with sequential DMARDs) were £30 200 for adalimumab, £24 600 for etanercept and £39 400 for infliximab. There are no direct comparative trials of the anti-TNFs, and their clinical trial findings are not directly comparable. Unless other factors determine treatment choice, NICE therefore recommends the least expensive. If the first anti-TNF is withdrawn within six months due to an adverse event, a second may be tried. [source]

    Effect of different synthetic gonadotrop-releasing hormone analogues and their combinations with an anti-dopaminergic compound on the reproduction performance of sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus L.)

    András Rónyai
    Abstract In this study, three synthetic gonadotrop-releasing hormones (GnRH) (azagly-nafarelin; des-Gly10 -(d -Ala6)-LH-RH; and des-Gly10 -(d -Phe6)-LH-RH) either alone or in combination with metoclopramide were used to induce reproduction of sterlet. The GnRH analogues were applied in a single dose of 40 ,g kg,1 of female and 20 ,g kg,1 of male body weight. Metoclopramid was administered in a simultaneous injection of 10 and 5 mg kg,1 of body weight for females and males respectively. There were no significant differences in the ovulatory responses of females; ovulation rates varied between 57% and 80%, and at the temperature of 15.5,16.0 °C about 30,34 h were required for final maturation, when eggs of 17.3±1.3% of body weight were stripped. However, the fertilization rates of the des-Gly10 -(d -Phe6)-LH-RH-treated groups were significantly lower than that in the other treatment. In males, the combination of the above peptidergic hormones with metoclopramide gave significantly better results than their single application. The results demonstrate that the final stage of gamete maturation in sterlet may be achieved by several hormonal means. The possibility of using new GnRH analogues without dopamine antagonists yields new perspectives for induced breeding of sturgeons, which have particular importance in the light of meat and roe (caviar) production for human consumption. [source]

    A randomized crossover trial of a wedged insole for treatment of knee osteoarthritis,

    ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATISM, Issue 4 2007
    Kristin Baker
    Objective In uncontrolled studies, a lateral-wedge insole has reduced knee pain in patients with medial knee osteoarthritis (OA). The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of this simple, low-cost intervention for pain in patients with medial knee OA. Methods We conducted a double-blind, randomized, crossover trial designed to detect a small effect of treatment. Participants were at least 50 years of age and had medial joint space narrowing on posteroanterior semiflexed radiographs and scores indicating moderate pain for 2 of the 5 items on the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain scale. Participants were randomized to receive a 5° lateral-wedge insole or a neutral insole for 6 weeks. Following a 4-week washout period, participants crossed over to the other treatment for 6 weeks. Knee pain, the primary outcome, was assessed by the WOMAC pain scale (visual analog scale version). Secondary outcomes included the WOMAC disability subscale, overall knee pain, 50-feet walk time, chair-stand time, and use of medications for knee pain. Results Ninety patients were randomized. The mean difference in pain between the 2 treatments was 13.8 points on the WOMAC pain scale (95% confidence interval ,3.9, 31.4 [P = 0.13]). We observed similar small effects for the secondary outcomes. Conclusion The effect of treatment with a lateral-wedge insole for knee OA was neither statistically significant nor clinically important. [source]

    Spinal amino acid release and repeated withdrawal in spinal morphine tolerant rats

    Takae Ibuki
    We used spinal microdialysis in awake rats to investigate whether the repeated withdrawal with naloxone during continuous spinal infusion of morphine would lead to a progressively greater spinal glutamate release and a more pronounced intrathecal tolerance. Rats received lumbar intrathecal (IT) infusion of morphine (IT-M: 20 nmol ,l,1 h,1) or saline (IT-S: 1 ,l h,1) continuously for 3 days. Both groups were further subdivided to receive intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of naloxone (IP-N: 0.6 mg kg,1) or saline (IP-S: 3 ml kg,1) every 24 h after the beginning of IT infusion. Daily thermal escape latencies, withdrawal signs, the resting basal release of spinal amino acids before IP injection and the release immediately after the injection (evoked) were measured. Rats receiving IT morphine showed a maximum increase in thermal escape latency on day 1, after which this value declined, with the fastest decline observed in IT morphine+IP naloxone group. On day 1, no significant difference was observed among groups in the resting basal release of amino acids. Rats in IT morphine+i.p. naloxone group displayed a progressive increase in this value. The release was not significantly altered in other groups. For the IT-M+IP-N group, basal resting dialysate concentrations of Glu, Asp and Tau rose steadily over the 3-day infusion interval. No change in basal resting release was noted for any other treatment. Evoked release (after i.p. naloxone) in IT-M animals displayed a progressive increase over the three repeated exposures. Evoked release did not change significantly in other treatment groups. The degree of precipitated withdrawal significantly correlated with the increase in glutamate acutely evoked by i.p. injection. The present results show that periodic transient withdrawal of spinal opiate agonist activity leads to a progressive increase in glutamate outflow and withdrawal signs, in a manner consistent with an enhanced development of spinal tolerance. British Journal of Pharmacology (2003) 138, 689,697. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0705102 [source]

    Ocular blood flow and oxygen delivery to the retina in primary open-angle glaucoma patients: the addition of dorzolamide to timolol monotherapy

    Brent Siesky
    Abstract Purpose:, To assess the effects of adding dorzolamide to timolol monotherapy on ocular haemodynamics and retinal oxygen saturation in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). Methods:, Twenty-four patients (12 healthy, 12 with POAG) were treated with dorzolamide/timolol combination (DT) versus timolol maleate 0.5% twice daily in a randomized, crossover, double-blind study conducted over a period of 18 months. Patients received each treatment for 8 months then crossed over to the other treatment after a 1-month washout and second baseline. Goldmann applanation tonometry, Heidelberg retinal flowmetry (HRF), colour Doppler imaging (CDI) and retinal photographic oximetry were performed at each visit. Results:, DT significantly reduced intraocular pressure (IOP) in both glaucomatous [right eye (OD) ,13.15%, left eye (OS) ,14.43%; p < 0.036] and non-glaucomatous (OD ,12.4%, OS ,13.88%; p < 0.039) patients compared to timolol after 8 months of treatment. DT significantly reduced the number of zero blood flow pixels in the superior (,39.72%; p < 0.014) and inferior (,51.44%; p < 0.008) retina in the non-glaucomatous group and inferior retina in the glaucomatous group (,55.38%, p < 0.006). The continuation of timolol monotherapy from baseline did not change (p < 0.05) any measured parameter and neither treatment had a significant effect (p < 0.05) on retinal oximetry or CDI parameters. Conclusion:, The addition of dorzolamide to timolol monotherapy decreases IOP and increases retinal blood flow in the superficial retinal vasculature in both glaucomatous and healthy patients following 8 months of treatment. The combination of increased retinal blood flow with consistent oxygen saturation may potentially increase oxygen delivery to the retina. [source]

    Sacral nerve modulation and other treatments in patients with faecal incontinence after unsuccessful pelvic floor rehabilitation: a prospective study

    COLORECTAL DISEASE, Issue 4 2010
    S. M. Koch
    Abstract Objectives Sacral nerve modulation (SNM) is a minimally invasive technique for the treatment of faecal incontinence. This study investigates the results of SNM after negative outcome of a standardized pelvic floor rehabilitation (PFR) programme for the treatment of faecal incontinence. Method, A prospective cohort study was performed between December 2001 and August 2007. Consecutive patients who visited the outpatient department for faecal incontinence were included in a multicentre study and treated with standardized PFR. Those with an unsuccessful result who were eligible for SNM were included in the present study. Failures at test stimulation or SNM received another treatment. Clinical outcome, Vaizey scores and Hirschsprung's disease/anorectal malformation quality-of-life (EQ-5D and HAQL) were assessed during follow-up in patients with SNM and in patients with other treatments (OT). Adverse events (AE) were documented. Results, Thirty-five patients (mean age 59.7 years; 31 females) were included. Twenty-one had a successful test stimulation and 19 patients proceeded to a SNM implant. Incontinence episodes per week decreased significantly from 11.1 ± 11.7 to 1.9 ± 2.6 during test stimulation (P < 0.0001) and SNM over 24.1 months follow-up. The overall success rate was 49% (17/35). The patients with unsuccessful test stimulation or SNM received OT. The Vaizey score improved in both SNM (18.2 ± 3.5 vs 13.7 ± 4.8; P = 0.004) and other treatment (18.2 ± 3.5 vs 13.9 ± 6.9; P = 0.019). The HAQL scale improved significantly during SNM in all subscales (P < 0.005), but not in the other treatment group. Eight AE occurred during test stimulation (23%) and six AE after permanent implantation (26%). Conclusion, Sacral nerve modulation improves disease specific quality of life significantly compared with other treatment. [source]

    A Review of the Biologic Effects, Clinical Efficacy, and Safety of Silicone Elastomer Sheeting for Hypertrophic and Keloid Scar Treatment and Management

    Silicone elastomer sheeting is a medical device used to prevent the development of and improve the appearance and feel of hypertrophic and keloid scars. The precise mechanism of action of silicone elastomer sheeting has not been defined, but clinical trials report that this device is safe and effective for the treatment and prevention of hypertrophic and keloid scars if worn over the scar for 12 to 24 hours per day for at least 2 to 3 months. Some of the silicone elastomer sheeting products currently on the market are durable and adhere well to the skin. These products are an attractive treatment option because of their ease of use and low risk of adverse effects compared to other treatments, such as surgical excision, intralesional corticosteroid injections, pressure therapy, radiation, laser treatment, and cryotherapy. Additional controlled clinical trials with large patient populations may provide further evidence for the efficacy of silicone elastomer sheeting in the treatment and prevention of hypertrophic and keloid scars. The purpose of this article is to review the literature on silicone elastomer sheeting products and to discuss their clinical application in the treatment and prevention of hypertrophic and keloid scars. [source]

    Adalimumab for treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis

    M. R. Bongiorno
    ABSTRACT: Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are common diseases associated with considerable morbidity and disability. Their pathophysiology comprises similar processes leading to inflammation of skin, entheses, and joints. Although traditional systemic agents can be effective, their use may be limited by lack of efficacy and concerns regarding adverse effects. The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of adalimumab, a fully human antitumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) monoclonal antibody, over 16 weeks. The present authors report their personal experience in 15 patients with severe plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, refractory to other treatments, in which a decisive regression of joint/skin involvement was obtained. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are chronic inflammatory disorders resulting from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. [source]

    Progress in the development of new treatments for combined Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases

    Eliezer Masliah
    Abstract Misfolding of synaptic molecules such as amyloid , peptide and ,-synuclein has been proposed to play a key role in the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, respectively. Notably, the majority of patients with Alzheimer's disease also have ,-synuclein-immunoreactive Lewy bodies, and a substantial proportion of them develop a form of parkinsonism also known as Lewy body disease, that defies conventional therapies. Thus, factors involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease might promote the development of particularly recalcitrant forms of Lewy body disease. We have shown that the amyloid , peptide 1-42, of Alzheimer's disease, promotes the toxic conversion of ,-synuclein and accelerates ,-synuclein-dependent deficits in transgenic mice. Understanding the mechanisms promoting the toxic conversion of ,-synuclein is of critical importance for the design of rationale treatments for Lewy body disease and transgenic models hold the promise for the development of such novel therapies. In this context therapies aimed at: (1) reducing amyloid , peptide 1-42 production, (2) blocking toxic ,-synuclein oligomerization (e.g., ,-synuclein, antioxidants), (3) promoting ,-synuclein protofibril degradation, and (4) protecting neurons (e.g., anti-oxidants, neurotrophic agents) against toxic ,-synuclein aggregates might prove to be significantly useful in the treatment of Lewy body disease. We characterized ,-synuclein, the non-amyloidogenic homologue of ,-synuclein, as an inhibitor of aggregation of ,-synuclein. Our results raise the intriguing possibility that ,-synuclein might be a natural negative regulator of ,-synuclein aggregation, and that a similar class of endogenous factors might modulate the toxic conversion of other molecules involved in neurodegeneration. Such an anti-amyloidogenic property of ,-synuclein in combination with other treatments might also provide a novel strategy for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Drug Dev. Res. 56:282,292, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Colony productivity and foundress behaviour of a native wasp versus an invasive social wasp

    Tracy R. Armstrong
    Abstract., 1.,Colony productivity, prey utilisation, and foundress behaviour of a North American native wasp (Polistes fuscatus) versus an European invasive wasp (Polistes dominulus) were investigated in a controlled field experiment with optimal versus natural foraging conditions. Colonies with the optimal prey foraging conditions were provided with prey ad libitum within an enclosed area. The other colonies foraged in the adjacent field,woodland but had the same nest conditions as the other treatment. 2.,When given prey ad libitum, both wasp species captured similar amounts of prey and the conversion to total offspring biomass was similar. But P. dominulus colonies produced 2.5 times the number of workers as P. fuscatus colonies, reflecting the smaller size of P. dominulus wasps. 3.,Foundresses of P. dominulus were observed more often building or repairing the nest, thereby contributing to the production of colonies with twice as many cells as colonies of P. fuscatus. Foundresses of P. dominulus showed more acts of aggression toward workers than did P. fuscatus foundresses, which was not a function of adult density on the nest. 4.,At the end of the experiment, P. dominulus colonies with optimal prey foraging conditions still had a high level of egg-laying and peaked in the number of pupae then, whereas egg-laying and the number of pupae per colony of the other treatments began to decline 2,3 weeks earlier. These results indicate that P. dominulus is more opportunistic than P. fuscatus, which may account in part for P. dominulus's success as an introduced species in North America. [source]

    Remobilization of Polychlorinated Biphenyl from Baltic Sea Sediment: Comparing the Roles of Bioturbation and Physical Resuspension

    Jenny E. Hedman
    Abstract The release of a 14C-labeled trichlorobiphenyl compound ([14C]PCB 32) from sediment to water was quantified weekly in a 30-d microcosm experiment with recirculating water. Two modes of bioturbation-driven polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) release,bioturbation by the amphipod Monoporeia affinis (a particle biodiffuser) and bioturbation by the polychaete Marenzelleria sp. (a bioirrigator),were compared to the PCB release caused by physical resuspension of the sediment generated by a motor-driven paddle used twice a week. Bioturbation by the amphipod M. affinis caused a significantly higher remobilization of both particle-associated PCB (PCBpart) and dissolved PCB (PCBdiss) than the other treatments. Bioturbation by Marenzelleria sp. and physical resuspension caused a similar release of PCBdiss despite a significantly higher amount of total suspended solids in the water column after physical resuspension. In all treatments, the release of PCBdiss was more than one order of magnitude higher than that of PCBpart, indicating a significant potential route of exposure for pelagic organisms, such as fish, to the most bioavailable PCB form. Calculated mass-transfer coefficients (0.3,1.3 cm/d) correspond to previously reported values for trichlorinated PCBs. The present results indicate that biological reworking of sediments can be just as, or even more, important than physical resuspension for the remobilization of sediment-bound contaminants. [source]

    EFNS guideline on treatment of multiple sclerosis relapses: report of an EFNS task force on treatment of multiple sclerosis relapses

    F. Sellebjerg
    Relapses, exacerbations or attacks of multiple sclerosis are the dominating feature of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), but are also observed in patients with secondary progressive MS. High-dose methylprednisolone is the routine therapy for relapses at present, but other treatments are also in current use. The objective of the task force was to review the literature on treatment of MS relapses to provide evidence-based treatment recommendations. Review was carried out on the literature with classification of evidence according to the EFNS guidelines for scientific task forces. Short-term, high-dose methylprednisolone treatment should be considered for the treatment of relapses of MS (level A recommendation). The optimal glucocorticoid treatment regimen, in terms of clinical efficacy and adverse events, remains to be established. A more intense, interdisciplinary rehabilitation programme should be considered as this probably further improves recovery after treatment with methylprednisolone (level B recommendation). Plasma exchange is probably efficacious in a subgroup of patients with severe relapses not responding to methylprednisolone therapy, and should be considered in this patient subgroup (level B recommendation). There is a need for further randomized, controlled trials in order to establish the optimal treatment regimen for relapses of MS. [source]

    Enhancing the P trapping of pasture filter strips: successes and pitfalls in the use of water supply residue and polyacrylamide

    M. R. Redding
    Summary In intensive pastoral systems the landscape at ground level is clad in dense, filtering vegetation , yet phosphorus losses in overland flow do occur, and pollution of surface waters is a serious consequence. The use of pre-applied polyacrylamide (PAM) or chitosan to trap particulate phosphorus (PP) and P-sorbing potable water treatment alum residue (PWTR) to enhance vegetative filtering effects is examined here using field and laboratory overland flow simulation (flows from 0.43 to 0.34 litres s,1 (m width),1) and analysis. Fitted equations suggest that up to 40% of dissolved reactive P applied (0.75 mg P litre,1) in overland flow could be captured in a flow length of 2.1 m (1 kg PWTR m,2). Unfortunately, drying decreased PWTR effectiveness, though little of the P captured was readily desorbed. This effect did not appear to be the result of gibbsite formation. Compared with the other treatments, there was a strong treatment effect of pre-applied PAM on the change in PP losses (P < 0.001) over time, though evidence suggests the PAM effect declined during a 44 minute flow period. We showed that the investigated two-pronged approach to the enhancement of the effectiveness of P trapping by pasture had limitations. Laboratory sheet-flow simulations suggest that a field-stable P sorber with sorption characteristics similar to those of the un-dried PWTR could be an effective retention enhancer for dissolved P. Pre-applied PAM can have an effect on particulate-P trapping but was rapidly dissolved and removed by flow. [source]


    EVOLUTION, Issue 2 2008
    Max Reuter
    Theory predicts that males adapt to sperm competition by increasing their investment in testis mass to transfer larger ejaculates. Experimental and comparative data support this prediction. Nevertheless, the relative importance of sperm competition in testis size evolution remains elusive, because experiments vary only sperm competition whereas comparative approaches confound it with other variables, in particular male mating rate. We addressed the relative importance of sperm competition and male mating rate by taking an experimental evolution approach. We subjected populations of Drosophila melanogaster to sex ratios of 1:1, 4:1, and 10:1 (female:male). Female bias decreased sperm competition but increased male mating rate and sperm depletion. After 28 generations of evolution, males from the 10:1 treatment had larger testes than males from other treatments. Thus, testis size evolved in response to mating rate and sperm depletion, not sperm competition. Furthermore, our experiment demonstrated that drift associated with sex ratio distortion limits adaptation; testis size only evolved in populations in which the effect of sex ratio bias on the effective population size had been compensated by increasing the numerical size. We discuss these results with respect to reproductive evolution, genetic drift in natural and experimental populations, and consequences of natural sex ratio distortion. [source]

    Linking herbivore-induced defences to population dynamics

    FRESHWATER BIOLOGY, Issue 3 2006
    Summary 1.,Theoretical studies have shown that inducible defences have the potential to affect population stability and persistence in bi- and tritrophic food chains. Experimental studies on such effects of prey defence strategies on the dynamics of predator,prey systems are still rare. We performed replicated population dynamics experiments using the herbivorous rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus and four strains of closely related algae that show different defence responses to this herbivore. 2.,We observed herbivore populations to fluctuate at a higher frequency when feeding on small undefended algae. During these fluctuations minimum rotifer densities remained sufficiently high to ensure population persistence in all the replicates. The initial growth of rotifer populations in this treatment coincided with a sharp drop in algal density. Such a suppression of algae by herbivores was not observed in the other treatments, where algae were larger due to induced or permanent defences. In these treatments we observed rotifer population densities to first rise and then decline. The herbivore went extinct in all replicates with large permanently defended algae. The frequency of herbivore extinctions was intermediate when algae had inducible defences. 3.,A variety of alternative mechanisms could explain differential herbivore persistence in the different defence treatments. Our analysis showed the density and fraction of highly edible algal particles to better explain herbivore persistence and extinctions than total algal density, the fraction of highly inedible food particles or the accumulation of herbivore waste products or autotoxins. 4.,We argue that the rotifers require a minimum fraction and density of edible food particles for maintenance and reproduction. We conjecture that induced defences in algae may thus favour larger zooplankton species such as Daphnia spp. that are less sensitive to shifts in their food size spectrum, relative to smaller zooplankton species, such as rotifers and in this way contributes to the structuring of planktonic communities. [source]

    Several components of global change alter nitrifying and denitrifying activities in an annual grassland

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2006
    Summary 1The effects of global change on below-ground processes of the nitrogen (N) cycle have repercussions for plant communities, productivity and trace gas effluxes. However, the interacting effects of different components of global change on nitrification or denitrification have rarely been studied in situ. 2We measured responses of nitrifying enzyme activity (NEA) and denitrifying enzyme activity (DEA) to over 4 years of exposure to several components of global change and their interaction (increased atmospheric CO2 concentration, temperature, precipitation and N addition) at peak biomass period in an annual grassland ecosystem. In order to provide insight into the mechanisms controlling the response of NEA and DEA to global change, we examined the relationships between these activities and soil moisture, microbial biomass C and N, and soil extractable N. 3Across all treatment combinations, NEA was decreased by elevated CO2 and increased by N addition. While elevated CO2 had no effect on NEA when not combined with other treatments, it suppressed the positive effect of N addition on NEA in all the treatments that included N addition. We found a significant CO2,N interaction for DEA, with a positive effect of elevated CO2 on DEA only in the treatments that included N addition, suggesting that N limitation of denitrifiers may have occurred in our system. Soil water content, extractable N concentrations and their interaction explained 74% of the variation in DEA. 4Our results show that the potentially large and interacting effects of different components of global change should be considered in predicting below-ground N responses of Mediterranean grasslands to future climate changes. [source]

    Above- and below-ground responses of C3,C4 species mixtures to elevated CO2 and soil water availability

    Abstract We evaluated the influences of CO2[Control, , 370 µmol mol,1; 200 µmol mol,1 above ambient applied by free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE)] and soil water (Wet, Dry) on above- and below-ground responses of C3 (cotton, Gossypium hirsutum) and C4 (sorghum, Sorghum bicolor) plants in monocultures and two density mixtures. In monocultures, CO2 enrichment increased height, leaf area, above-ground biomass and reproductive output of cotton, but not sorghum, and was independent of soil water treatment. In mixtures, cotton, but not sorghum, above-ground biomass and height were generally reduced compared to monocultures, across both CO2 and soil water treatments. Density did not affect individual plant responses of either cotton or sorghum across the other treatments. Total (cotton + sorghum) leaf area and above-ground biomass in low-density mixtures were similar between CO2 treatments, but increased by 17,21% with FACE in high-density mixtures, due to a 121% enhancement of cotton leaf area and a 276% increase in biomass under the FACE treatment. Total root biomass in the upper 1.2 m of the soil was not influenced by CO2 or by soil water in monoculture or mixtures; however, under dry conditions we observed significantly more roots at lower soil depths (> 45 cm). Sorghum roots comprised 81,85% of the total roots in the low-density mixture and 58,73% in the high-density mixture. CO2 -enrichment partly offset negative effects of interspecific competition on cotton in both low- and high-density mixtures by increasing above-ground biomass, with a greater relative increase in the high-density mixture. As a consequence, CO2 -enrichment increased total above-ground yield of the mixture at high density. Individual plant responses to CO2 enrichment in global change models that evaluate mixed plant communities should be adjusted to incorporate feedbacks for interspecific competition. Future field studies in natural ecosystems should address the role that a CO2 -mediated increase in C3 growth may have on subsequent vegetation change. [source]